Sony's PlayStation 4 isn't the only next-gen console that claims to offer near-instant access to digital games -- Microsoft's Xbox One apparently does as well, according to a statement issue by Redmond to Engadget today. "Consumers will be able to sign on to any Xbox One console and have access to all their digital games. Once the required data -– a fraction of the entire game -– is on their hard drive, they can jump into the action while the rest of the game finishes downloading in the background," the statement reads. It also notes that you can already enjoy much of that proposed functionality on the Xbox 360, though it requires significantly more effort than we're hoping will be required on the Xbox One.
The Xbox One supports similar functionality with disc-based games, allowing you to immediately jump in and play while the game is installed to the HDD. Of course, you'll still need the disc in the drive for it to play; at least that's the case now, after Microsoft walked back its Xbox One DRM strategy. Microsoft also teased today's news in its original Xbox One announcement PR: "Unleashing the virtually unlimited power of the cloud makes everything more convenient and accessible, from allowing games to be installed in segments so that gameplay can start quickly to updates downloading in the background."
We've yet to see Sony or Microsoft's play while you download functionality in action on their respective next-gen game consoles, but we've got a smattering of major press events sprinkled across the next several months leading up to this holiday when the consoles launch. But hey, we understand your suspicion -- if we don't get a chance to see it in action soon, then we'll start to worry.